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Atomic and Molecular Physics in the Gas Phase

  • L. H. Toburen
Part of the Basic Life Sciences book series (BLSC, volume 58)

Abstract

The spatial and temporal distributions of energy deposition by high-linear-energy-transfer radiation play an important role in the subsequent chemical and biological processes leading to radiation damage. Because the spatial structures of energy deposition events are of the same dimensions as molecular structures in the mammalian cell, direct measurements of energy deposition distributions appropriate to radiation biology are infeasible. This circumstance has led to the development of models of energy transport based on a knowledge of atomic and molecular interactions that enable one to simulate energy transfer on an atomic scale. Such models require a detailed understanding of the interactions of ions and electrons with biologically relevant material. During the past 20 years, there has been a great deal of progress in our understanding of these interactions, much of it coming from studies in the gas phase. These studies provide information on the systematics of interaction cross sections, and lead to knowledge of the regions of energy deposition where molecular and phase effects are important—knowledge that guides development in appropriate theory. In this report, studies of the doubly differential cross sections, which are crucial to the development of stochastic energy deposition calculations and track structure simulation, are reviewed. We discuss areas of understanding and address directions for future work. Particular attention is given to experimental and theoretical findings that have changed the traditional view of secondary electron production for charged-particle interactions with atomic and molecular targets.

Keywords

Angular Distribution Differential Cross Section Ionization Cross Section Track Structure Absolute Cross Section 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. H. Toburen
    • 1
  1. 1.Pacific Northwest LaboratoryRichlandUSA

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